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. when john paul died, we knew that joseph ratzinger who became pope benedict xvi, he was a very powerful man in the vatican the pope's enforcer in some ways. we all knew his name. we don't really know the names of any of these people now. but, so it's going to be a much more diverse, i think, selection process. >> what are the chances that we'll see a pope from central america or africa? >> it will tough to do that. majority of the catholics are in the southern hemisphere. growing church in africa and latin america. it would make a lot of sense to do that. i think it would be pretty hard to wrestle the power away from europe especially the italians. >> all right, it will be a really interesting couple of weeks. cokie, thank you so much. >>> elizabeth thanks. now to the other big headlines. the extreme weather slamming the country. tornadoes tearing across the country. sam is tracking it all. two blizzards. a real round of severe storms. we'll start with the pictures out of minnesota. it was the sunday blizzard. not the friday one. the one in the middle of country that put anywhere from 1
to being a cardinal. take his old name, joseph ratzinger. will he be able to counsel the next pope? >> well, if the next pope would like it, i'm sure he could. however, if -- some people have suggested, wait a minute. you're going to have two popes at work. that's not true. the pope is retiring because he wants to retire. if he wanted to have influence on the church still, he would stay as pope. i would expect very much -- the fact he's going to a monastery -- will be living in a monastery is significant. he wants a quiet life of study and of prayer. i assume that if the new pope wants to ask his counsel, he's clearly going to give it. but he's not going to go -- he's not going to be there looking to try to influence the next pope. >> and the new -- the cardinals will be meeting right after the pope resigns on february 28th at 8:00 p.m. will the deliberations about the next pope begin immediately? >> they could begin. we'll find out that in the next few days. they could technically begin as early as the day after, as early as march 1st. but you have to remember, it's never the conclave, whi
's a great statement about the humility of joseph ratzinger, as he will become at the moment of his abdication once again. and in a strange way, this is his last great service to the church. he wants the church to have the kind of strong leadership that it needs. as i understand it, the process will unfold rather much like the process would unfold had the pope died except for the fact that the cardinals will obviously now be gathering in rome in the weeks before february 28th so that they can enter the conclave immediately on the abdication of the pope and begin the process of choosing his successor, which could take several days or several weeks. >> for those who are not familiar with this process, the papal conclave will be convened and require a tw-thirds majority among the cardinals to elect a successor? >> that's correct. and one thing about the timing of this that is interesting is that the college of cardinals is now just about as full as it can be. the maximum number of the electors is set at 120. i think we're almost there right now. so, this will be the largest conclave in
. what has struck me in the 25 years i have known the man who will return to being joseph ratzinger, is the simplicity of his soul. this is a thoroughly convinced christian believer who happens to be one of the smartest people in the world who speaks six or seven languages with complete flewency, who knows the history of biblical religion from "a" to "z." who never wanted to be an executive, a manager, who always thought of himself primarily as a scholar. but who somehow could translate all of that learning into beautiful simplicities about god's love for the world and for god's people. >> and, george, even as we honor the service of this pope, we look forward to the election of a new pope. and tell us about this process. i mean, is this a sort of thing where, for lack of a better term, there are front-runners? >> there will be an enormous amount of ink spilled in the italian press over the next two weeks about front-runners. most of that would be silly. there are a number of cardinals who fit what would seem to me to be the profile. first of all, a man in full physical vigor. that
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